“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with his stripes we are healed.” —Isaiah 53:1; 4-5
The Call to Faith
The Christian is called to a life of faith. We are saved by faith, and then we enter into a life where faith in Christ and His finished work will supply us with everything we might ever need, both in this world and the ages to come.
The prophet Isaiah asked the question of all people everywhere when he said, “Who hath believed our report?” The author of Hebrews declared that “without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:6), and multiple writers proclaimed, “The just shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). So, in order for humanity to receive from God, God has required that we operate in faith, which is essential in almost every case before God extends His grace. As Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace are you saved through faith.” Based on this truth, we learn that if we are to receive something from God, it will be due to faith, and our faith must be settled upon the proper object of God’s choosing.
The Prophesied Picture of the Cross
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 houses the prophet Isaiah’s fourth and final “servant song.” The servant songs of Isaiah are prophetic in nature and describe the Messiah’s work, life, and ministry some 700 years before it actually took place. Isaiah, Chapter 53, is a very clear picture of what Christ would accomplish for humanity when He would offer up His life as a sacrifice on Calvary. As we study these words, we come to clearly see not just the circumstances surrounding the Cross, but we also see revealed several key benefits that the world would reap as a result of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross.
The Words Transgression and Iniquities
In Isaiah 53:5, two specific words used by the prophet are the terms transgressions and iniquities. A simple study of these words reveals very clearly that they refer to sin or acts of sin in the life of an individual. Therefore, it is safely concluded that the Cross paid the price for every active sin ever carried out by a member of the human race. Forgiveness of sins is the result of the Cross. We are taught in Paul’s epistles that we overcome sin at this present time (“weight, and the sin that does so easily beset us” [Heb. 12:1]) by trusting exclusively in what Christ did for us at Calvary.
Progressive sanctification is an ongoing effort that will not be concluded until the rapture occurs. At that point in time, we will receive a glorified body, and just a little later, will experience an atmosphere that is totally devoid of the presence of sin forever. All of this was paid for at Calvary. Do you believe the report of the Lord?
The Words Griefs and Sorrows
In Isaiah 53:4, a simple, or even an in-depth study, reveals that the word griefs is associated, not with sin, but with sickness. This word is used 24 times in the King James Version and is translated as sickness (12 times), disease (7 times), grief (4 times), and sick (1 time). It is never associated with sin. Strong’s dictionary defines this word as “malady, anxiety, or calamity.” Barne’s commentary states that this word does not refer to sins, but to sufferings. It is associated with the ideas of sickness, disease, anxiety, and affliction.
The second word that we’d like to look at is sorrows. Once again, this word is not associated with sin. In the King James Version, it is translated as grief, pain, or sorrow. It is defined as “anguish or affliction.” This seems to indicate an emphasis on the pains of the mind and in the heart. It describes the anguish brought to the inner being of man—the heart or the soul.
If we treat this knowledge honestly, then we must admit that the Cross dealt not only with sin but, also, with sickness. Just as the Cross paid for the defeat of sin, even so, the Cross paid for the defeat of sickness. So, similar to sin, we are to face the onslaught of sickness by believing in what Christ has done to free us from its effect.
These words also indicate a freedom from a broken heart. Therefore, we should understand that in the presence of sickness or a crushed spirit, we are to look to the Cross in faith to receive our freedom from either sickness or sorrow. There’s coming an hour when the believer will find himself in an atmosphere where all sickness and all sorrow will have been eliminated. We will find ourselves there because of what Jesus did for us at Calvary. So, we are to face sickness and sorrow by believing the report of the Lord—that He has already defeated these enemies at Calvary, and that our faith in his finished work will bring us the grace that we require to rise above this attack against our hearts or in our bodies.
Commentary on Isaiah 53:4 - Matthew 8:1-17
The best commentary in regard to Scripture is Scripture itself. In Matthew 8:17, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew quotes Isaiah 53:4 and states, “Himself took our infirmities, and bear our sicknesses.” Take careful note that the word for griefs is infirmities and that the word for sorrows is translated as sicknesses.
As we study the context of Matthew 8:1-17, we find that the Lord Jesus healed a leper, a centurion’s servant, Peter’s mother-in-law, and the multitudes. The Holy Spirit indicated that these actions were a fit description of the meaning of Isaiah 53:4, verifying that this verse is about the healing of the body and soul.
Time and space do not allow me to complete this teaching in this issue of The Evangelist. Be sure to save this issue and next month, we will continue by encouraging every believer to actively pursue healing by faith through grace. Do you believe the report of the Lord?